ORLANDO STORM CLOSE IN ON PLAYOFF BERTH WITH IMPRESSIVE VICTORY AGAINST SAN DIEGO AVIATORS, 19-15
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. (July 27, 2020) – The Orlando Storm moved one step closer to clinching a coveted four-team World TeamTennis playoff spot with a 19-15 victory over the San Diego Aviators on Monday night on Center Court at Creekside Stadium – The Greenbrier “America’s Resort.”
The Storm improved to 8-4 and remained in sole possession of third place behind league leading Philadelphia (9-2) and Chicago (9-3), while the Aviators fell to 3-9 and in last place in the WTT standings in this the final week of the WTT regular season.
The Storm jumped out to a commanding 15-5 lead after the first three sets, getting wins in Mixed Doubles (Ken Skupski/Jessica Pegula), Women’s Singles (Pegula) and Men’s Singles (Tennys Sandgren). Former WTT Male MVP Ryan Harrison of the Aviators battled Sandgren shot-for-shot from the baseline in a tight singles affair that saw Sandgren come out on top, 5-3.
One of the bright spots of the night for the Aviators was the doubles play of Christina McHale and the newest Aviator Kveta Peschke, who beat Pegula and Darija Jurak, 5-1, in Women’s Doubles. Just before Sunday night’s WTT trade deadline, Peschke – a former world No. 1 doubles player – and Sabine Lisicki were traded from the New York Empire to San Diego for Coco Vandeweghe and Nicole Melichar.
Harrison and Jonny O’Mara took out Sandgren and Skupski in Men’s Doubles, 5-2, in the final set to make the score 18-15. That sent the match into Extended Play where Skupksi held serve in doubles for the win.
ORLANDO STORM PLAYER KEN SKUPSKI: “I think the difficulty with this year with COVID was that everyone came into the tournament differently. You really have to take your time and figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are. I think if we keep playing the way we have been then we’ll have a good shot to win it all.”
Orlando Storm defeats SAN DIEGO AVIATORS, 19-15 (EP)
Mixed Doubles: Ken Skupski/Jessica Pegula (Storm) def. Jonny O’Mara/Christina McHale, 5-2
Women’s Singles: Pegula (Storm) def. Kveta Peschke (Aviators), 5-0
Men’s Singles: Tennys Sandgren (Storm) def. Ryan Harrison (Lasers), 5-3
Women’s Doubles: McHale/Peschke (Aviators) def. Pegula/Darija Jurak (Storm), 5-1
Men’s Doubles: O’Mara/Harrison (Aviators) def. Skupski/Sandgren (Storm), 5-2
Extended Play: 1-0 Storm. With Orlando leading 18-15, Skupski held his doubles serve to end the match.
—S. Pratt, WTT